TITLE

Clinical Importance of the 'Seat Belt Sign' in Blunt Trauma to the Neck

AUTHOR(S)
DiPerna, Costanzo A.; Rowe, Vincent L.; Terramani, Thomas T.; Salim, Ali; Hood, Douglas B.; Velmahos, George C.; Weaver, Fred A.
PUB. DATE
May 2002
SOURCE
American Surgeon;May2002, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p441
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Currently a carotid duplex scan is the initial screening modality routinely used to evaluate occult extracranial carotid artery injuries secondary to blunt neck trauma. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of carotid artery duplex scanning in patients who suffered blunt trauma to the neck with a "seat belt sign." The medical records of 131 consecutive patients who sustained blunt trauma to the neck from a motor vehicle accident were reviewed. Patients with the cervical seat belt sign underwent a complete physical examination and carotid duplex scan in an accredited vascular laboratory. An intimal flap with severe carotid artery stenosis was found in one of 131 patients (0.76%). This patient has multiple injuries to the face, head, chest, lateralizing neurological signs, and a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8. In an era of cost containment, resource consumption should target appropriate populations. A cervical seat belt sign should not serve as a sole indicator for evaluation of the carotid artery in the absence of other pertinent signs or symptoms.
ACCESSION #
7747608

 

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